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Apple and LG plan Flash Laptops 197

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-are-you-wearing-under-there dept.
Lucas123 writes "An article in Computerworld states that Apple and LG each plan to launch new laptops — one that's supposed to ship this month — with hybrid disk drives. The new drives are like hybrid cars in that the NAND flash memory works in conjunction with the spinning disk, kicking in data that can be cached like portions of the operating system, which can make for much faster boot up and resume times."
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Apple and LG plan Flash Laptops

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  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday March 09, 2007 @12:25PM (#18289902)
    NO, they're NOT "like hybrid cars". Stop it with the inane car analogies.

    The word "hybrid" has a meaning outside automobiles. Originally it was a biological term.

  • fucking analogy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Friday March 09, 2007 @12:30PM (#18289982) Journal
    like a hybrid car? It's nothing like a hybrid car. And I would think the average slashdot reader is technically inclined enough to understand what it really is, without the retarded analogy.
  • Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Friday March 09, 2007 @12:37PM (#18290122) Journal
    Does the flash inside these things die after however-many thousands of writes?

    It sounds to me like the life expentancy of one of these would be greatly diminished over a conventional HDD.

    Has flash technology advanced to the point that the limited write cycle thing isn't an issue, or do they just expect you to replace it every few months to a year (depending on how much you use it)?
  • Re:OK Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Friday March 09, 2007 @12:49PM (#18290320)
    There has been so much speculation, but where's the proof? It'll have to run a slim OS like the iPhone to work well on flash due to the high rate of paging MacOS does.


    I won't comment on OSX's paging, other than it needs a bit of refining as it tends to be over agressive.

    However, I think Apple's initial plans are to use the Flash on these drives as more of a Read area for portions of OSX that are accessed at startup or frequently.

    As for the lifespan of Flash, if the device or OS is smart enough to not use the same bits over and over and distributes the writes intelligently(Since areas of Flash are fairly equal in speed), then the lower end bits won't get any more use than the top end of the cache, and in theory the flash should last as long as the HD platters. There are also techniques to extend Flash usage by what bits are used and when, so the limited writes are extended beyond just linear write lifespans of the Flash.

    Remember the HD Mfrs are not stupid about caching or Flash limits, so this is stuff that people a lot smarter than the average SlashDot reader has already considered and worked around.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday March 09, 2007 @01:07PM (#18290550) Homepage Journal

    The only thing stranger than all of the car analogies is the impassioned resistance that they invoke.

    Would you like it if car people make idiotic computer analogies all the time?

    "Well, I increased the CFMs of my carburetor, which is like doubling your ram. And then I added a second fuel tank, which is like adding another hard disk."

    But seriously the reason that people like me resist it so strongly is that most of them are just fucking stupid. This one is less stupid than most but it's still not a very good fit. In fact, it's not all that analogous which is why I resist the analogy. But I didn't rail against it for the reason that you state; this is probably one of the best car analogies that's been used on slashdot recently :)

  • Mac ROM returneth? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rdarden (87568) on Friday March 09, 2007 @02:13PM (#18291536)

    However, I think Apple's initial plans are to use the Flash on these drives as more of a Read area for portions of OSX that are accessed at startup or frequently.
    Not unlike the old days when some of the core OS functionality was stored in a custom Mac ROM. Funny how things are cyclical.
  • by MightyYar (622222) on Friday March 09, 2007 @04:58PM (#18293892)
    LOL, a gentleman on Slashdot... you should have turned it into a flame war.
  • by PsychoSid (683168) * on Friday March 09, 2007 @05:09PM (#18294028)
    Pretty good point. I would hazard a guess and say those flash memory supply mountains could be in reserve for the iPhone though rather than a flash based laptop.
  • by andreyw (798182) on Friday March 09, 2007 @05:23PM (#18294166) Homepage
    Except ROM is slow, "Read-Only", and needs a special interface (if any at all.... but if you wish to use block device abstractions, say hello MTD) while what Apple is doing will just be a logical extension of their already present boot cache mechanisms.

    So - 'no'.

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